I want to start this off with a quote from one of my emails with Drzewiecki Design whilst I was talking to them about their Scenery and HeliSimmers:
We are very well aware of the "helicopter community" and we always try to include some heliports in our products (NY, Washington, Moscow, Warsaw) but if the community can speak up their wishes and/or help making those locations better and more detailed by making/providing photo resources, that would probably be very good for both parties.
This right here I think is perhaps the start of a beautiful friendship. And friendships themselves are interesting things because there’s sometimes were we are really happy to be friends and having a great old time and then there’s times where you’re just not sure. But the key to any good relationship is communication.
So, it was when I was told that DD had released an update to Seattle City that included 5 new Helipads (even some from my original list, though I’m sure I’m not that influential yet :D), I felt like my buddy had just said that he’s bought me tickets to a Bon Jovi concert, only to find that those tickets were to a tribute show.
Seattle City 1.1 does indeed come with 5 great new helipads around the city:
- WA53 Harbourview Medical Center
- WN16 Komo TV - Right near the Space Needle
- 8WA9 Broadcast House Helistop
- WA55 Elliott Park
- WA54 1001 Fourth Plaza
And these five pads are all distinct buildings within the city area and not just basic starting positions like the initial release set.
I checked them out first by loading into each and was mostly surprised by the cool locations, though two had some issues. Most notable was Komo TV as my FPS took an absolute nose dive. Unfortunately WA54 1001 Fourth Plaza does not work at all as the helipad is inside the building.
Regretfully these are not the only issues as after loading into each location I then decided to do a small flight from Boeing Field (KBFI) up through the city to check these helipads out.
Heading 335 from the field I made my way over the stadiums and lined up to land at Harbourview Medical. Any approach made over the safety barriers results in a crash, which I believe is an issue with attaching physics to small poly objects like the safety barriers around the helipads.
So, with the first helipad being unlandable, I headed further into the city and doubled checked that I could not land at 1001 Fourth Plaza, before heading on to Broadcast House.
I’m happy to say that there are no issues with 8WA9 Broadcast House and you can very easily land and takeoff from it, though the textures have not been upgraded and there is no clutter to make it more alive.
From Broadcast House it is a very very small jump to WN16 KomoTV and my frames suffered as I approached and, as with Harbourview, when I came close to the helipad I immediately struck some invisible thing that caused an immediate tail rotor failure and I ended up spiraling into the building.
No matter how I tried to approach I was constantly struck by something that did not exist. I can only put this down to the fact that both Komo and Harbourview have safety barriers and the physics is being applied to these as well.
Loading back in at Broadcast House I made the final leg just north of the city, along the shoreline to WA55 Elliot Park. As with Broadcast, I had no issues with landing, though it was very hard to make out that there actually was a helipad there at all.
Very poor texture quality when on the ground at Elliot Park and no ground clutter makes it quite boring, even if the view of the harbour and city together is lovely.
But you know what, good friends talk to each other, so I reached out to DD via email and they were very appreciative of our comments and have passed the issues along to their XP developer. Hopefully we’ll see some more updates to Seattle once some work has been completed on their next scenery, Chicago.
You may have already seen a post in our facebook group asking for ideas for good helipads around Chicago, well this is because Drzewiecki Design would like to get our ideas so they can be incorporated at launch!
Same with our existing products - if someone has photo resources of heliports and is able to share them with us, this would most probably lead to them being modeled in much higher detail. Modeling them doesn't take much time - the biggest problem is the lack of resources and limited practical approach to the selection of the heli-related locations, which requires a little bit of knowledge of the "local" procedures.
I have been outside the community for a little while, watching videos and reading reviews and quite often the reviewer will decry the lack of helipads etc. Well, here is a developer ASKING us, which helipads we want!
So, whilst we didn’t end up going to see Bon Jovi live in concert, the tribute band was pretty good and promises to get better. Also we’ve been invited to another concert coming real soon that might be really good straight up. Because this is what friendship is about, talking to, listening and understanding one another.
I rated Seattle City and Airports quite highly for my very first review and some (rightly) questioned that score. Even though there are issues with this latest update, it does bring a couple of neat helipads and not only that but they (Drzewiecki Design) are willing to talk to, listen and understand us, and that is a beautiful thing.